Rediscover a West End gem


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This article was published 25/05/2021 (741 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Jacob Penner Park is one of the oldest parks in the city, but the sleepy green space and play park across from the old Health Sciences Centre women’s hospital is often overlooked. Now there is an opportunity for kids to discover it.

Explore Jacob Penner Park, a self-guided tour created by the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation, includes a free map and activity guide. It is the latest in a series of architectural tours for kids created by the Foundation. The houses, buildings and even the trees wear smiles in the colourful cartoon map of the park and adjoining streets drawn by Kaj Hasselriis. Fun questions for kids are posed in comic-style bubbles.

The map and activity guide can be downloaded and printed in either English, French, Cree, Icelandic, Ojibwe or Tagalog at

Supplied photo David Jack and his son, Isaac, peruse the kids’ map of Jacob Penner Park illustrated by Kaj Hasselriis.

You can also pick up a copy of any version at the Daniel McIntyre-St. Matthews Community Association at 823 Ellice Ave. on weekdays between 1 and 6 p.m.

The wide paved paths in the park are accessible and stroller friendly. Park benches, garbage receptacles and picnic tables are handy amenities, especially if a visitor decides to stop first at the ice cream parlour inside the Imperial Laundromat at the corner of Notre Dame Avenue and Victor Street.

During the self-guided tour, little ones can be happily engaged uncovering the rich history of the small park and surrounding streets with you – one scavenger hunt question at a time.

As you read them the fun facts in the activity guide, they will be looking for architectural details on century houses that were owned by newcomers from Iceland, deciding which of the public works buildings in the park is the oldest, and much more.

It isn’t a showy park but Jacob Penner Park is a neighbourhood gem. The playground has a swing set, a jungle gym and slide combo and a slide for tots. There is also a climbing boulder (recommended for ages five to12 by the manufacturer) with many different holds – some of which look like cute fossils.

The small skate park is perfect for beginners learning new skills as it is much less busy than the bigger skate parks are. It still has enough elements to challenge skaters, BMXers and inline skaters alike.

There’s a half-court to shoot hoops on and plenty of room on the grass for free-wheeling games of soccer or frisbee.

Anne Hawe is a community correspondent for the West End. She can be reached at

Anne Hawe

Anne Hawe
West End community correspondent

Anne Hawe is a community correspondent for the West End. She can be reached at

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